Dopo Retrieving, un altro grande ospite sulle pagine di SwosIT: è con noi oggi il vincitore della SwosIT Cup 2015, nonché vice-campione mondiale online (sconfitto di misura in finale da Nestoroide nel Master of Swos 2015 ndr).
Conosciutissimo e vincente sul sito tedesco, non gioca da molto nella community italiana, ma la sua abilità difensiva e soprattutto il suo fair-play non sono certo passati inosservati: benvenuto Andib!


After Retrieving, another great guest on our website: we have indeed the pleasure to interview the SwosIT Cup 2015 winner and also the online vice world champion (narrowly lost to Nestoroide in the Master of Swos 2015 final - editor's note-).
Very well known and successful on, he has only played for a few months on SwosIT, yet his defensive skills and above all his fair-play have certainly not gone unnoticed: welcome Andib!





1. To break the ice, please tell us something about you:

Hello SWOS-maniacs, my real name is Andreas and I'm 36 years old and currently living in Randers (the SWOS-capital of Denmark). 

 2. How and when did you know about Swos?

From early on, I have to say I started playing Sensible Soccer in 1992 or 1993 when I played it with a friend from the neighbourhood on an amiga 500. Like many others in here I was hooked on sensible soccer from the beginning. Earlier I played e.g. Microprose Soccer on a commodore 64 and in the beginning of the amiga history I played Kick Off, but it wasn’t really my thing. 
I knew I had some skills for playing Sensible Soccer when people had problems beating me offline and back in the late 90’ies I was beating the local champion 4-0 without problems. Around that time my amiga broke down and I didn’t play SWOS for many years. 

3. Since when have you been playing Swos online?

I started playing SWOS online in April 2012. It was a bit of a coincidence. One of my friends (Glavind) from my childhood told me it was possible to buy those 25 years anniversary Competition Pro joysticks and we found an emulator that made it possible for us to play SWOS against each other on PC. I think it was late 2011 or the beginning of 2012. So you can say something good came out of those crappy joysticks  One day Glavind discovered the webpage and told me about it. I remember RuiCosta10 (formerly known as SethRiver) helped me setting up the game and luckily the first day I was online Djowger was online too and we have been talking to each other ever since that day. Not long after Djowger and I went to Pallister's place to buy an amiga 1200 for me.
I know this is about online SWOS, but I have to tell a bit about offline too. Djowger told me that there was an offline tournament coming up soon after I started playing online. It was at Klaris’s place in Randers. I was well beaten by both Djowger and Klaris but again I felt the SWOS-spirit and I have been playing SWOS offline tournaments around Europe ever since. The first one abroad was at ElMichaJ's appartment on the 30th of June 2012 with Playaveli, ElMichaJ, Bomb and Djowger. They all beat the hell outta me!
Online and offline SWOS are different but I love both.

 4. How has your playing style changed in the course of time, especially after discovering you could play Swos online?

Like many others I thought I was hard to beat but I couldn’t be more wrong. Djowger showed me skills I thought they were beyond reachable. That made me even more hooked on playing SWOS online
My style has changed A LOT since the beginning. I could only score like three different kinds of goals. 
I didn’t know about about high-headers and I was amazed how they (Djowger, Ali, Blazej among others) were able to make those combo-headers. I knew I wouldn’t quit SWOS before I reached their level. I had something to play SWOS for. 
I have to give a lot of credit to Djowger. He has not only taught me how to score different goals; he has also taught me a lot about tactical solutions. In the beginning I was playing 5-2-3 with Brazil but with time I changed and I played Sweep with Real Madrid for quite a long time including Sensi Days 2014. I could see most of the best players were playing Brazil 4-4-2 which is the best allround tactic, so I changed tactic and I can't really imagine I will change to another one. I think I know the position of all of my players in 4-4-2 now. 

5. Do you think you could still improve or have you reached your maximum potential?

Blazej and Coolio still have some header combos that Im not yet able to make. This is my key motivation to keep on playing SWOS. So for sure I can improve but of course I'm getting closer to my maximum. I will lose the motivation for playing SWOS if I only tried to score the same goal again and again. I always want something to reach out for. At the moment it is scoring different header combos like Coolio and Blazej. 
If you look at ASL you will see I'm not a great goalscorer. I have tried to improve this but it is not really getting better. On the other hand I'm always one of the best in defence, lucky for me.   



6. Do you admire a Swosser's gamestyle in particular? What would you like to steal from him if you could?

I think I have already answered this question. I really loved seeing Blazej win the Amiga title at Sensi days earlier this year. He and Coolio are faster than anyone else in the community and as I wrote before I would like to steal some of their header combos. I'm getting closer to reach their level but the timing they have is just phenomenal.  

 7. Since both things are at times strictly connected, my question is: what is your finest memory related to Swos and what is the best match you have ever played in your Swosser's life?

 Uh I have a lot of great memories including SWOS but online and offline. The first time I won ASL1 was very special for me being only the second Dane to achieve this. It was also special to win SWOSIT CUP 2015 because I hadn't played on the Italian webpage before. 
My first Sensi Days was also special and I think I played some of my best matches on Sensi Days 2013 in Berlin against former World Champion Alii. He had won the championship the year before and I had to play against him in the Last 16. We played 4-4 and 0-0 so we had to play 2 matches more. I won 3-2 but then Alii showed what a great SWOS player he is and beat me 5-0 in the last match. 
A funny fact is that I have lost on every Sensi Days to the former World Champion: 2 x Alii (in 2013 and 2014) and this year against Djowger. So maybe next year I will play against Blazej…
I played the current World Champion Playaveli in the ISSA PC tournament in Copenhagen last November in Quarter Finals. I won 1-0 and 0-0 even with a red card in one of the matches. I think that is some kind of an achievement. We played against each other this year at Sensi Days and this time he was too strong for me and he was a well-deserved winner.  
8. You are a high-level player, but you must have experienced bitter disappointment yourself... 

 This year's Sensi Days for sure! I played Djowger on all 4 tournaments and lost all of them! Especially my matches on Amiga were really disappointing for me. The first match ended 1-1 and I was up 2-0 in the second match but I lost the match 4-2. I had already lost to him on PC and Xbox, so I wasn’t in a good mood after those matches. On classic I got my first Sensi Days medal losing against him in the final. 
On my first Sensi Days in 2013 I lost on PC against Bomb in Last 32. After coming from behind - having lost the first match 3-0 - I won the second match 3-0 and the third match was 0-0. On PC you only play one extra match and then penalty shootout. Before the tournament the Danish crew made jokes about losing on a random penalty shootout…Of course it happened to me.

9. What prompts you to keep on playing Swos and what - in your opinion - makes the game still attractive after more than 20 years from its first release?

Compared to a lot of the other players in the community, I'm quite new with “only” three years of playing SWOS regularly. I won't stop before I have won Sensi Days for sure and before I can't achieve anymore with SWOS. As written before I can still improve the way I play SWOS. 
Like others have told before me, there is also the gameplay which is quite unique for SWOS even though more than 20 years have passed from its first release.
The people I have met because of SWOS are just amazing. I love to go to Sensi Days to see the SWOS Offline Community once a year. Besides, I'm trying to go to a new tournament somewhere in Europe once a year. In 2013 it was Wroclaw Open and last year it was Eifel Xmas Cup in Decemeber. Before Sensi Days last year I went to Blazej’s place in Gdansk. I was there for a week and damn I learned a lot about SWOS in that week. 
I would like to be a part of the SWOS tour around Europe together with ElMichaJ and Bomb in 2017 if it is possible. 
If you haven’t experienced an Offline tournament you have to go to one someday. It's really something special. 

 10. Please give a suggestion to the new prospects who are about to debut in our online Swos competitions.

Don’t think you are the best in the world, when you join the community! Soon you will find out you are just a noob, but here you have the opportunity to learn from the best players in the world.
In the beginning it would be a good idea to play lots of friendlies to get accustomed to play with human players online. You might have played with others offline, but because of lag online, it is not the same. Many - when they start playing online - have only played against the computer. Soon they will discover how difficult it is to defend against human players. 
A good idea would be to practice different kind of goals against a weak computer team. This has helped me a lot.
Others think they can be in the top of the list when they have played for a couple of months. They have to imagine that some of the people in here have played this great game for almost 10 years. In my case I can only say that Djowger in particular made it possible for me to reach the level I have today. Like he said when he was interviewed, he is motivated of helping others to improve their game and luckily I was one of them.

Let's talk about current events now: 

 11. From 23rd to 25th of October Milan will host an international gaming event called Gamesweek. In such an important setting, the Second Italian offline Swos championship  (powered by SwosIT) will take place.
Having attended many events like this, how would you describe an offline tournament experience and what is needed in your opinion to create the right "Swos atmosphere"?

First of all I will say, I would have loved to attend the Gamesweek but because of working situation and the long journey I'm not able to attend it this year. Hopefully I can go there sometimes in the future. 
For me an offline tournament experience is the best of what you get of SWOS. Meeting people you are normally playing online against (without lag) is really great even if they don’t speak English. Spending time and sharing experiences with these guys are pure class and I love to meet them once or twice a year.  
During all the offline tournaments I have played so far, the atmosphere has been fantastic. We accept the difference between us. It's great how SWOS are able to bring so many people together.
When you leave Sensi Days you are already looking forward to join the next one.

 12. In fairness, do you think Italy could be an ideal candidate to host Sensibledays in the near future?

 As I see it you need to look at three issues if a country wants to be a candidate for Sensi Days:

 1. The amount of SWOS players in Italy

Italy has a lot of great SWOS players and if you can gather those players, then Italy will for sure be a great candidate for Sensi Days. 

 2. Location for tournament. 

Especially where it is located within the country. People from around Europe need a location, which is easy to reach if you want to be as many SWOS-players as possible. Look at this year in Poland. It was reachable for a lot of players around Europe and we had the biggest tournament ever. Fortunately the Polish Community succeded at inviting local players to the tournament so for the first time we had to close the sign up for the tournament the day before Sensi Days (on Amiga). If it is going to be in Italy in the near future, it has to be in the Northern Part of the country in my opinion. People had to travel a long distance to reach Denmark, so no one from Southern Europe participated in Sensi Days 2014 in Billund.

 3. Equipment 

Last but not least, you need to be sure you have the equipment for such a big tournament or at least to be sure that others will bring equipment, and you need to ask people before you make an application for hosting the tournament. They didn’t do it this year and they were a bit lucky we were able to go by car or else we wouldn’t have been able to bring 3 amigas + monitors and PCs. When you make the application I would say you should count on being 40 players.
If you can meet these requirements, then I can't see why you shouldn’t be able to host Sensi Days. You only have to remember that there is a lot of work in hosting Sensi Days.

 13. Earlier in this interview you said the online and the offline thing are different, but you love them both: could you please detail what you appreciate the most of both modes?

For sure the gameplay is different. Playing without lag makes it funnier. Sometimes online you know what your opponent will do, but you can't clear the ball because of high ping. You need to play safer online compared to offline. I also like to see the reaction of my opponents when I play against them online, and you might get another opinion of your opponent. I met one player at a tournament and if I had only played against him online I would have called him a “jerk”, but it turned out he is a great player and he shows great sportsmanship when we are playing offline.
Of course online you are able to play more players than offline and I like to play with new players all the time. That’s what I loved by joining the Italian league. You can also play online whenever you want, while uou will only play a couple of times a year such offline tournaments. If I had to choose between offline and online I would for sure choose offline. 

 14. Last but not least: What would you do (if you could) to improve Swos as a game and how would you improve and enrich online Swos communities with regards to tournaments, competitions and initiatives?

 I would like to do something with the goalkeeper. Especially the penalty shootouts are too random and you can make a couple of goals where the goalkeeper will make the wrong decision all the time. Would be great to fix this. Could be great to have more standard tactics as well. Or else I think I love the game as it is now.
How to enrich and improve online the SWOS communities is a really good question. Maybe the two communites (German and Italian) could have more to do with each other. It was an honour for me to play against Nesteroide (for the Master of Swos) but it is only once a year. It would be great if more Italians played on the german webpage and vice versa, if it is possible. I know with family it is difficult for a lot of people to spend more time than they do now on SWOS.
Earlier I talked to Redhair about how we could get more people to play SWOS. We talked about using the social media more than we do today. Maybe if it could be possible to play SWOS directly on facebook or something. 
Thanks a lot for the interview, it has been a pleasure and and an honour to answer these questions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        


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